A METHOD IN MISUNDERSTANDING THE GREAT POET
Published 12-02-2020 11:30 GMT-0000
Faiz Ahmad Faiz came alive when his famous poem Hum Dekhenge was recently termed as anti-Hindu. There were explanatory write-ups and discourses about why and how it is not. In the process, what has gone unnoticed is a method in misunderstanding Faiz. If we are forced to misunderstand Faiz, then serious questions arise. Who does it and why? Misunderstanding Faiz puts a question mark on the Sense of Poetry, which India boasts of. If we fail to appreciate the poetic genuius of Faiz, then really something is wrong with us and also in question is the time=frame in which we are living.
THE HOLLYWOOD ICON NURTURED MANY PROGRESSIVE CAUSES
Published 10-02-2020 10:50 GMT-0000
Kirk Douglas was Spartacus, the doomed slave who rebelled against the repressive Roman Empire. He was Colonel Dax, the soldier-lawyer who defends three sacrificial French troops who refuse a WWI suicide mission in Paths of Glory. He was painter and social activist Vincent Van Gogh who took up the cause of the poor and downtrodden in Lust for Life. Kirk Douglas died on February 5 at the age of 103.
LEFT ICON CRITICISES MODI GOVERNMENT’S TREATMENT OF KASHMIR
Published 08-02-2020 17:05 GMT-0000
In parts of the Arab world and India, interestingly, poetry is witnessing “a huge revival. At the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, students took to platform and sang Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s Hum Dekhenge; the same happened in the Jamia Millia University”, said Tariq Ali, now editor of the pro-Trotskyist magazine New Left Review, in his keynote speech on the second day of Lahore Biennale-02 at the National College of Arts. One of the prodigal sons of Lahore, Ali sees in poetry the birth of a new internationalism, no matter “whether that poetry was sung by great stars or not”. The day the US started bombing Iraq, he remembered, he was with the great Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef, who had written a new poem the week before. The poet, Ali recalled, was in Baghdad and corresponded with fellow Iraqi poet-in-exile in Damascus Mudhaffar Al-Nawab addressing him in the poem, ‘What are we going to do, O Mudhaffar Al-Nawab?’ The poem was titled The Jackals’ Wedding. In Iraqi tradition, a jackal’s wedding has a different – and an unpleasant – connotation to the one it has in South Asian culture.
UNITED NATIONS VOWS TO ERADICATE THE HEINOUS PRACTICE BY 2030
Published 07-02-2020 15:52 GMT-0000
Since 2012, February 6 is marked as a day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The aim is to amplify and direct attention towards the ongoing efforts to eliminate this practice.
CAPITALISM’S ‘KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY’ PROFILES US ALL
Published 30-01-2020 11:38 GMT-0000
“Communicative capitalism,” writes the communist philosopher Jodi Dean, refers to a phase of knowledge- and technology-based commodity production in which information on a massive scale is produced, gathered, and sold for profit. What we now call the “information society” or “knowledge economy” sees the large-scale proletarianization of often highly-educated people in low-paying (often low-skilled) jobs, precariously scraping by to pay student loans, cover health insurance, and living paycheck to paycheck, wondering what happened to the “American Dream.”
INDIA’S EXPANDING NUCLEAR ARSENAL NEEDS REGULATORY OVERSIGHT
Published 25-01-2020 10:45 GMT-0000
Since returning to power last year with an overwhelming majority in the 2019 general elections, the Modi-led government has passed a series of legislations in rapid succession without any credible dialogue both within and outside Parliament – amendments to the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, which in effect have diluted the statutory requirement for the National Human Rights Commission to be headed by a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, amendments to the already infamous Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, under which even individuals can now be designated terrorists and their properties seized, dilution of the hard-fought ‘Right to Information Act’, which in essence diminishes the independence of the office of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and other information officers, to the latest onslaught of the CAA-NRC-NPR combine, which is being seen as an attempt to disenfranchise particular sections of Indian society – have raised legitimate concerns that the Centre is in an unprecedented rush to appropriate for itself disproportionate powers to meddle with India’s public institutions, weaken democratic oversight, muzzle the right to information, and punish ‘inconvenient’ activists, human rights defenders, and even local communities who are resisting the usurpation of their lands and other community resources for large-scale industrial projects.
On Birth Anniversary On January 3
MODERN INDIA’S FIRST LADY TEACHER IN 1846
Published 03-01-2020 17:02 GMT-0000
I was surprised to find no book by or about Savitribai Phule in a prominent well-equipped public library of my city Bhopal. Efforts went vain searching them elsewhere. I am not sure about public libraries across the country except a few but it is a matter of deep concern.
LIVES OF ACTORS POST-CAREER DEPICTED IN A REALISTIC MANNER
Published 31-12-2019 08:34 GMT-0000
'After Porn Ends' is an important documentary exploring what happens to sex workers once they retire from the “adult entertainment” industry. It raises important issues that viewers can use to inform their thinking and analysis of the role played by pornography, and sex work in general, in the context of present-day capitalism.
STRUGGLES FOR SELF-DETERMINATION ARE CONTINUING
Published 24-12-2019 10:25 GMT-0000
This week, starting Dec. 22, Jews around the world are celebrating Hanukkah, the eight-day festival that commemorates the Jews’ successful struggle for self-determination from ancient Greek imperialism. A brief summary of the history behind this holiday echoes many struggles of the 20th and 21st centuries:
Published 15-12-2019 16:25 GMT-0000
New Delhi: ‘Cricket Country: The Untold History of the First All India Team Cricket’ by Prashant Kidambi. Published by Penguin Viking, was declared Sports Book of the Year at the end of the two day Ekamra Sports Literature Festival here on Sunday.